When I was in high school and college, I spent hours and hours learning, and trying to understand Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Currently I live close to Los Angeles and from time-time we get some tremors which shake us up. Heisenberg principle is nothing to do with what I am going through..but uncertainty/tremor is the one I am talking about. I am currently dealing with lot of uncertainties/tremors. How do we deal with unexpected changes in life?
We all need to know how to handle these unexpected changes. Even when you think you’ve curled into a cozy cocoon of predictability, anything could change in a heartbeat.
The only constant in life is that it will involve change; and try as you may to control the future, sometimes all you can do is trust that whatever happens, you can adapt and make the best of it.
Since I am straddling familiarity and the unknown, waiting to form some type of expectations for my future, I’ve been thinking a lot about dealing with uncertainty well. Though I’ve written before about embracing an uncertain future, I have a few thoughts as I am going through this:
Replace expectations with actionable plans.
When you form expectations, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. You can guide your tomorrow, but you can’t control the exact outcome. If you expect the worst, you’ll probably feel too negative and closed-minded to notice and seize opportunities. If you expect the best, you’ll create a vision that’s hard to live up to.
Instead of expecting the future to give you something specific, focus on what you’ll do to create what you want to experience.
What is in my hands is what I plan—, find balance, and live the life I want.
Prepare for different possibilities.
The most difficult part of uncertainty, at least for me, is the inability to plan and feel in control. But I can plan for the possibilities. If Plan A doesn't work, having a Plan B..If not Plan C..There are 26 possibilities in total for all of us.
Become a feeling observer.
It isn’t the uncertainty that bothers me; it’s my tendency to get lost in my feelings about it.
The second I start indulging fear, I get lost in a cycle of reactionary thoughts. “It might not work out” leads to “How will I achieve my goal?” Before you know it, I’ve somehow traveled all the way to “What if I become this homeless person in the street?”
Okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration. The point is that speculation leads to feelings, which can lead to more speculation and then more feelings. It helps me to stop the cycle by recognizing the feeling—in that case, fear—and the reminding myself: I can’t possibly predict the future, but I can help create it by fostering positive feelings about the possibilities.
Get confident about your coping and adapting skills. This isn’t the same as “expect the worst.” It’s more about assuring yourself that you can handle any difficulty that might come.
Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” I could take the opportunity to downsize my stuff. I could deal, which makes the uncertainty a little less scary.
Utilize stress reduction techniques preemptively.
If you’re dealing with uncertainty, you probably have stress in your body, even if it’s not at the forefront of your thoughts in this exact moment. Over time, that body stress affects blood pressure, blood sugar, muscle tension, cholesterol level, breathing rate, and every organ in your body.
Incorporate stress reduction techniques into your day, ideally meditation, even if just five to ten minutes daily. Finding your center will help you feel better prepared to tackle whatever comes your way.
Focus on what you can control.
Oftentimes, we overlook the little things we can do to make life easier while obsessing about the big things we can’t do. What is in my control is, what I can do today to take care of the issues for today.
When you obsess about a tomorrow you can’t control, you’re too busy judging what hasn’t happened yet to fully experience what’s happening right now. Instead of noticing and appreciating the beauty in the moment, you get trapped in a fear-driven thought cycle about the potential for discomfort down the line.
While meditation is the best way to become more mindful, it isn’t the only approach. Sometimes it helps me to take an inventory of what’s good in today.
If ever you think you’ve created a controllable, predictable life for yourself, you can rest assured that’s an illusion. Nothing stays the same forever.
The uncertainty can keep you up at night, obsessing over ways to protect yourself from anything that might go wrong. Or it can motivate you to practice acceptance, live in the moment, and embrace the adventure of living.
What’s coming tomorrow might not be easy—or it might fulfill you in ways you didn’t know to imagine. What’s certain is that it will come and when it gets here, you’ll respond to it, learn from it, and move into another tomorrow full of endless possibilities.
Today I’m focusing on my possibilities, not my fear, and suddenly I feel much better.